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Obama agenda: Pressuring Karzai

President Obama released this statement on the suicide bombings in Moscow: "The American people stand united with the people of Russia in opposition to violent extremism and heinous terrorist attacks that demonstrate such disregard for human life, and we condemn these outrageous acts.  My thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost loved ones, and I wish all who sustained injuries a succesful recovery."

"In his first visit as commander in chief to the war zone he has remade, President Obama on Sunday pushed for greater cooperation from the government of his Afghan counterpart, a stagnant and corruption-laced administration that poses perhaps the biggest threat to U.S. success against the Taliban insurgency," the Washington Post reports.

The New York Times adds, "President Obama personally delivered pointed criticism to President Hamid Karzai in a face-to-face meeting on Sunday, flying here for an unannounced visit that reflected growing vexation with Mr. Karzai as America's military commitment to defeat the Taliban insurgency has deepened."

The New York Daily News: "Making a surprise visit, his first as commander in chief, Obama arrived in the war-ravaged nation under the cover of darkness aboard Air Force One."

"'We are going to disrupt and dismantle, defeat and destroy al Qaeda and its extremist allies. That is our mission,' a tough-talking Obama told 2,500 US troops at Bagram Air Base in Kabul during his first trip to the Afghanistan war zone as commander in chief."

On Sunday, the Washington Post came out with a poll on health care after its passage last week. "Overall, 46 percent of those polled said they support the changes in the new law; 50 percent oppose them. That is virtually identical to the pre-vote split on the proposals and similar to the divide that has existed since last summer… But there are signs that Democrats have started to rally, with the party's base firming up after intense internal battles over a public insurance option and provisions covering abortion funding. Fifty-six percent of Democrats now 'strongly support' the recently enacted health-care changes; last month, 41 percent were solidly behind the proposals. Eight in 10 Democrats now approve of the way Obama is handling health care, the most since last summer."

More: "Obama's overall approval rating is at 53 percent in the poll, about the same as it has been in Post-ABC polls in the past several months; 43 percent disapprove."

"President Barack Obama on Saturday wielded his recess appointment powers for the first time, clearing 15 nominees to assume posts that have remained vacant for months due to insurmountable congressional roadblocks," The Hill writes, adding, "Obama attributed the need for recess appointments on the "unprecedented level of obstruction" in the U.S. Senate, led primarily by the chamber's Republicans." Obama said, "The United States Senate has the responsibility to approve or disapprove of my nominees. But if, in the interest of scoring political points, Republicans in the Senate refuse to exercise that responsibility, I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis," Obama said, noting all of the appointments must still be confirmed after this year.